Paul McHugh

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Paul McHugh is a distinguished professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Medicine and a reliable source of authoritative-sounding but highly misleading and flawed work in the area of gender.

McHugh opposes sex reassignment surgery for transgender people[1] and against medical transition in general, especially for young people. He shut down the gender identity clinic at JHU in 1979, for reasons that do not stand up well under scrutiny. He was apparently also responsible for the fact that JHU stopped offering SRS in 2004 – a fact which is widely cited by anti-trans activists as proof that SRS is ineffective, despite the fact that JHU reversed this decision in 2016.

He is also known for sharply dysconservative views on the subject of sexuality, most notably stating that homosexuality is an "erroneous desire"[2]. Multiple JHU colleages have sharply disagreed with his conclusions[3], and none have come to his defense.

Despite this, the increasingly-far-right Wall Street Journal gave him column space in 2016 in which to post his uninformed views on transgender surgery and gender identity.

He has also held the following positions:





Writings by

  • 2016/10/01 [L..T] Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences «...this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence. The report has a special focus on the higher rates of mental health problems among LGBT populations, and it questions the scientific basis of trends in the treatment of children who do not identify with their biological sex.» This report also appears to be the entire contents of issue #50, Fall 2016, a "special issue" of The New Atlantis, "A Journal of Technology and Society" which is published by the US conservatist advocacy group Ethics and Public Policy Center.
  • 2016/05/13 [L..T] Transgender Surgery Isn't the Solution “...policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention.”
  • 2016/03/01 [L..T] Gender Ideology Harms Children This is one of several credible-seeming pseudo-scientifi studies often cited by anti-LGBT activists, but its conclusions fly in the face of an overwhelming body of evidence.
  • 2004/11/01 [L..T] Why We Stopped Doing Sex Change Operations “Those I met after surgery would tell me that the surgery and hormone treatments that had made them “women” had also made them happy and contented. None of these encounters were persuasive, however. The post-surgical subjects struck me as caricatures of women.”


  1. 2016-05-13 Transgender Surgery Isn't the Solution
  2. 2010-01-26 Interview with Dr. Paul McHugh: "There Is No Gay Gene" "You see, what has happened with the permissive movement is that it has picked up the Freudian confusion of desire and love, making them the same. And with the implication, for example, that I must desire my mother. I don't desire my mother. I love my mother. Now the fact is that in my marriage, of course, I desired this woman and I felt love for her. Now, 50 years into marriage with her, I still desire her, but now I love her. She's irreplaceable. There is this thing that has come and it's different. This person exists for me as irreplaceable. So, there is this confusion of desire and love. [Homosexuality] is erroneous desire."
  3. 2016-09-29 In 'Sun' op-ed, Johns Hopkins faculty members disavow report on gender, sexuality, which references
  4. 2005-03-28 Teaching Darwin: Why we're still fighting about biology textbook. "...Darwinism being quite obviously a biological theory and open to dispute. To claim otherwise is to be woefully misinformed."